Pinch and zoom images on a WordPress site

Visitors just expect to be able to pinch and zoom images on their phones and tablets. That’s why it’s so amazing that out of the dozens of WordPress Lightbox plug-ins, I could only find one that handled this smoothly. Most either didn’t allow pinch and zoom or just went crazy if you tried. So which Lightbox plug-in features pinch and zoom? UniteGallery. This fully responsive Lightbox plug-in features several gallery types, but I find that Tile Grid to render the fastest so that’s what I use. I also turn off all of the extra stuff like borders, shadows, etc. to make things as fast as possible. You can specify what images appear in the gallery, but I just use the Jetpack gallery tools and add unitegallery=galleryname to the shortcode. For example:

[gallery unitegallery="Portfolio" type="rectangular" link="file" ids="1000, 1001, 1002, 1003"]

This way, should I ever stop using UniteGallery, they will default back to normal Jetpack galleries.

The developer is very responsive and accommodating. When I asked about automatically opening a Lightbox slideshow when the page loads he added the feature in a day. I’m hoping he adds a global option so all galleries use UniteGallery instead of having to specifiy it every time, as shown above.

If the gallery has a lot of images, it can be a little slow to render. The developer is working on speed improvements so I’m hoping for better performance in the future.

Anyways, I highly suggest you try UniteGallery. There is a lite version you can try. I believe it limits the number of images in a gallery. The full version is only $19 which is a deal for what it does. It works with native Media Library images so it’s easy to test on a site. The mobile pinch and zoom works perfectly.

2015-11-03: One caveat. I’ve noticed that you cannot long-press an image and then save it on a mobile device. According to the developer, this just cannot be done. Google Photos (using Safari) doesn’t do it either, so I’m assuming it’s just not possible. Oh well, I wouldn’t trade it for pinch and zoom!

Leave a Reply